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Byron Scott likes the Lakers in the NBA Finals

The onetime standout L.A. guard looks to Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher.

June 02, 2010|By Byron Scott

Former Lakers guard Byron Scott won three NBA championships with the team.

He lost his first NBA Finals as a rookie, against the Boston Celtics, in 1984. He won his next two championships against the Celtics in 1985 — the first Lakers team to defeat the Celtics in the NBA Finals in eight tries — and 1987.

Scott's preview of the Finals, as told to Times staff writer Broderick Turner:

No. 1, the Lakers are going to win the series. I think it's probably going to go six or seven games, there's no doubt about that.

The most important thing for the Lakers is that their bench has to play well. Lamar Odom, the way he's playing like the Lamar Odom that I think everybody felt he could play like, especially that Phoenix series, is going to be big in this series, because Kobe Bryant and obviously Pau Gasol are going to need some help.

I love what I saw from D-Fish [ Derek Fisher] on both ends of the floor. And Ron Artest.

I think that they have enough firepower offensively and that their defense is probably better than it has been in the last couple of years.

I think Pau is better than he was in 2008 because of the fact that he has now been there a few more years and has won a championship. Kobe and D-Fish will tend to rub off on you as far as being mentally tough. And Kevin Garnett is not the Kevin Garnett he was two years ago. If they play Pau one on one, he's still one of the best skilled big men in the game. I think he'll take advantage of that. So I give him the edge.

No matter who guards Kobe, he has the edge. The way Artest played the last couple of games, hitting that winning shot in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against Phoenix, probably was the best thing that ever happened to him. I think he's going to give Paul Pierce all he can handle. Ron has a motor and he's going to be physical. He's going to make you work for everything you are going to get. And if he's making his shot, that's like a double-whammy.

The key for the Lakers really is D-Fish trying to keep Rajon Rondo out of the paint as much as possible. He really has to stay in front of this guy. Obviously they have got to get back in transition because that's where Rondo thrives.

If Andrew Bynum was healthy going into this series, that would be a big advantage for the Lakers. He can be the X factor. If Bynum can come in there and he's light on his feet and he feels better, he can be a big-time force down there because I don't think that Kendrick Perkins can guard him.

My rookie year, we lost the championship to the Celtics in the Garden. I haven't forgot that.

I love my boy Doc Rivers and I'm going to text him and wish him all the best. But I'm also going to leave on that text, "But you know where my heart is, Doc. I want my Lakers to get y'all."

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